Friday, April 25, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait

The past week and a half have tested my no-complaining policy, once again! Last week we waited for inspections. Days passed with nobody showing up. Small towns and small town politics can make for delays and frustration. While we waited for those we busied ourselves putting in the two replacement windows....
Window over the kitchen sink.

Bathroom window. All those white lines on
the walls is Great Stuff sprayed in to
insulate and fill cracks.

Bathroom window from the outside. Trying to
match up old aluminum siding is a pain!

Kitchen window viewed from the driveway.

and the new back door.
The old door with plexiglass.

New door with glass and no holes!
I cannot tell you how happy I am to have a door that is secure. Our old door had a plexiglass window put in some time before we bought the house. It had been shaved here and there as the room sank and to adjust for the fact that nothing was square. There were holes in it-from what I do not know.

Finally, the electric and plumbing inspectors showed up within a few minutes of one another. Woo-hoo! We called the building inspector so that he could give us the okay to put in the insulation.

In the middle of all this waiting the flooring came. This is what we chose.
I think this is going to be beautiful with the white cabinets.

We ordered twelve boxes (from Home Depot) and only eleven we delivered. When I questioned the UPS driver he told me that was all he had. I called Home Depot. I was told about all the steps that had to happen to find my box of flooring. In order to make sure we had all that we needed I ordered another box while they tried to find the missing box. Neither UPS nor Home Depot could account for the missing box. An hour later the missing box showed up on my doorstep. No worries, I can return the replacement when it comes in.

In the midst of all that we were notified that our cabinets would be delivered on Tuesday, the 22nd. They absolutely would not hold them any longer. They would not even discuss it. So, we made sure that someone was home all day to inspect the boxes  (me). Where are we going to put 22 cabinets? The kitchen is not ready! I moved stuff off the front porch to make a temporary home. They will have to be brought into the house- but where! I was starting to get nervous. "We don't even have insulation in", I thought.

Tuesdays we meet with friends to go over our school work for the week. The children are quizzed, writing assignments are checked and we enter in to some really good discussions about the things they have learned during the week. This all happens at our dining table. I enjoy Tuesdays. I love history and the kids have grown so much in the past five years that we have been using this curriculum. I miss it when we break for summer.

Oops, got off track, sorry. So, all day we waited for cabinets. Around 2PM Mr. FixIt called to tell me that the delivery was not going to happen until Thursday. I could not be home all day Thursday. Mr. FixIt made some phone calls and bought us another week at no extra charge! I think that was definitely an act of God! Whew...and thank you, God.

The inspector came (the same day we called him) and told us we could begin insulating. YAY!

Because the framing on our house was done so long ago, nothing is uniform and "16 on center" was definitely not the standard. Some are ten inch, some were eighteen inch, ect. We had to add studs and now some are just two inches from an old stud. Crazy! Even more crazy was trying to get insulation into those uneven bays. Our electrician suggested spraying in foam insulation. I was like "Okay, that sounds great." My husband said, "Yeah, how much is that?" Oh. I forgot that part. We were "... waiting for a price",  I told the inspector. He said it is expensive and suggested insulation with no backing and poly over the top. I told the mister and so that is what we did.
View of the kitchen and bathroom from the front room doorway.

View of the kitchen standing in the bathroom doorway.

The bathroom.

Today we had the inspection on the insulation. Everything is ready for sheetrock! I am so excited. I am trying to not get too ahead of myself. It will be a long and tiring weekend but I am ready for it. The Mr. is a trooper. He is like the energizer bunny.....he just keeps going. I do think this may be the last big hoorah, though. He may be okay with all of this but I am definitely feeling every bit of my age. I am sure it will pass as soon as I get to start picking out paints and decorating! Oops, too far ahead again.

Don't forget to stop by again soon. I know Spring is calling you to come out and play in the sunshine. I did  that a little bit, myself... I will share those pictures soon.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A little distraction

Sometimes I just need to go look at pretty things. I need some inspiration and to be around people who are filled with oodles of creativity. This past weekend was a two-fer! First stop was the Wrentham Country Store for their At Home With White Show.

I got lots of good ideas and was just happy to be around so much clean, beautiful, white stuff. (My house is loaded with ugly, dirty, white stuff-construction dust!)

I love old frames! Fabric, pretty dishes and frames! Oh my!
I did come away with some great ideas and some pretty pictures to inspire me. 
I am a sucker for a well done vignette!

Love this! This was being purchased as I snapped photos. I
would have bought it  myself, but some lucky-duck beat me
to it! I do have some old window frames, though.....

Then there was this sweet bike all painted white. It had tulips draping over the basket in the front and a bucket on the back holding a French baguette and that reminded me of another stop I wanted to make...

Several towns over there is an old mill that has been turned into a recycler's best dream, ever! It is called Winsmith Mill and for those of you who live close it is a definite 'must-go-to' place if you like to decorate and make old things into new treasures, like I do. You can find them on Facebook. There are several different vendors all in one location. One lady sells Annie Sloan's paints and waxes, another sells cute clothing that has a boho flair. There are trinkets and hard to find things that grandma used to have. My favorite is a place called Vintage Thymes. They are only open for one weekend a month and each month they have a new theme. This month it was April in Paris!

I found a simply beautiful picture frame that I plan to use in the new kitchen. (No pictures of that, yet.)

Looking around I found this piece for the bathroom but was sad to find out that it had already been sold.
I know, you love it too!
As we walked around I found such pretty things and such girly things that made me smile and I just had to take pictures of them!

The loveliest shade of antique frenchy pink!

Afterwards we walked around to some of the other shops and I found more ideas for the bathroom although now that I am away from them I am thinking they might be too big for my project but I know I could find a place for them if I found the right one!
23rd and Bird was selling this beauty!

I don't remember which stores I found these in but they sure are lovely to look at. I think they would be great in the bathroom with pretty towels and small tower of fresh toilet paper rolls so that guests don't have to wonder where to find replacements if needed. The openness at the bottom would leave room for my electric baseboard heater. I am talking myself back into this. Perhaps I should scour craigslist for any one wanting to get rid of one that I can customize.

I hope you enjoyed the respite from the renovation as much as I did. Like a friend told me yesterday, "Sometimes, it is good to take a break"!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Still Dancing....

I have decided to not post in the moment. Rather, I think it necessary to let a couple days pass so that I can blog with a clear mind, having moved past the initial impressions of any given situation or day's events. Having said that, let me tell you about last week.( I am just going to insert random photos taken this weekend so that you don't get bored.)

We started out in what has become our new normal which I am dubbing 'in-house camping'. Tuesday we met with our friends for our usual Tuesday Tapestry of Grace homeschool day with one little added bonus of having the plumber working in the kitchen as we worked at the table in the dining room. It was funny to later hear that he was trying to be quiet for us! Nothing much bothers us, we just press on. He did get a lot done and I was encouraged.
Vent pipes for kitchen and bathroom. I know, hold your
Plumbing for kitchen sink and
problem dishwasher.
Plumbing for washing machine!

Wednesday our electrician came! I was excited....until he pointed out the knob and tube which I have already told you about.

Friday he came back to clean it out. One step forward. Mr. FixIt said to let him cut a trench through the front room and he would plaster it later. I got busy moving my camping kitchen out of the front room but I am running out of places to put it. Most of it ended up on my dining table but that is okay as Mr. could mud the 2inch trench when he got home, sand and we could paint sometime in the future. I could move everything back and it would be back to controlled chaos over the weekend.

Well, things don't always go as planned. The electrician asked me to look at something for him and I could hear the checkbook gasp! Turns out that the helper he had with him was told to cut through the plaster and slats in the ceiling to access space to run the new wiring but his depth perception must have been a bit off as he ended up cutting through the floor joists to the second floor! No worries, a carpenter was on the way and they would pay for the, yeah. So, what had been an almost cute little 2 inch run across the ceiling was now a 2 foot x 4 foot gaping hole.  I could not take photos. I think I was in shock. And, again....two steps back. Oh yeah, and my plumber pointed out that I could not use the beautiful new dishwasher I had purchased. Why doesn't matter other than only one in ten are made with the problem this one poses for our job. I told him my husband would not be surprised to know that I had managed to find it then. The electrician chimed in that I should just do what I am good at. I have to find a new one. (Dishwasher, that is, not electrician or plumber.) Two more steps back.

The electrician came back to finish up Saturday morning. Mr. and I went to Home Depot to get some drywall. That was a trip in itself! Mr. had asked me to measure my vehicle across the wheel well  to make sure drywall could fit in. I measured and had inches to spare. Easy peasy, I told him. Once we purchased the drywall and brought it out to my Highlander it was a whole different story. Yes, it would sit over the wheel wells but the opening to get it to that place was not wide enough! My bad! We strapped 6 sheets of drywall to the luggage rack and drove home, each of us with an arm out the window holding it down so that the wind would not take it. I know, I need a truck if I am going to be doing this stuff!
New electrical lines!

Looking into the kitchen from the front room.

Notice the lighting! Yeah!

As of now, I do not have lights in either the front room or dining room. My dining table is covered with kitchen stuff. The microwave is in the dining room along with the toaster, the coffee pot and the fridge. There is a plastered patch in the front room that needs another coat of mud on it. I did find a new dishwasher. One step forward. Presently, there are about 8 men in my basement removing some pipes with asbestos and replacing a 10 foot section of cast iron heating pipe for my steam radiator system. There is no way I can meet tomorrow for our homeschool group with all this in the state it is in. One good thought is that the electrical and plumbing inspections will happen tomorrow. One step forward.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Reno Two-step!

I love to dance. I don't get to do it often (outside the confines of our own four walls). My girls prefer that I don't do it when we are out shopping anymore. They have gotten to that age-you know, when almost everything I do in public embarrasses them but when we are all at home being silly, trust me, they are dancing fools! I guess my dancing skills needed a new move or two. I have dubbed it the Reno Two-step. It goes like this: take one sss-lll-ooo-www step forward, then two quick steps back.

Now, if you have been reading along you know that I am determined not to whine or complain so don't take this as that. Rather, it is my being open and honest about the renovation; a fair and not an unrealistic view of the experience. So, although it may sound like complaining I prefer to call it honest journalism. Stop laughing!

This week we finally had the plumber and electrician come in. The plumber was awesome and I think he has done all he can do for now. I moved the dresser/vanity into what will be the bathroom space so that he could plumb the lines for the sink. He really didn't need me to do this but I couldn't wait any longer. While it was there I had to take a picture (or three) just to keep myself motivated.

I think the new top came out great!

 The electrician is great, too. He has suggested many things that I did not think of and most of them were not for an extra fee but rather just thinking logically about placement, ect. One step forward..... Then there was one little issue-one little, messy issue. Knob and tube wiring.

Anyone who as ever had to deal with this just breathed out a collective "Ugh". Yes, there is knob and tube wiring hanging from the wall and ceiling and it is live and needing to be removed. Easy-peasy, right? Not! The wiring is connected to other things in my home like the lighting in the front room of my home which is our camp kitchen right now and the lighting over the dining table. Long story short, it's got to go but only one of the rooms is an easy fix. Due to the direction of the joists in the ceiling and the fact that there was no strapping holding up the ceiling  you could only snake a line to one of the rooms. That means the kitchen ceiling had to come down, and old wiring has to be replaced. That time I know I heard you go "Ugh". And take two steps back......

Last night Mr. FixIt had taken a much needed break and went to the Red Sox game. We won! Go Sox! When he got home we ripped down the ceiling. A friend once commented about marrying a man who is a hard worker and what a blessing it is if you have a man like that. I gotta say she is 110% correct on that! My man is amazing and works so very hard for us.

 This morning was clean up time.

My girls and I got busy and got it all cleaned out. All the nails and screws were removed from the wood and the electrician can finish what needs to be done for now.

Tomorrow the electrician will be back. There will be holes in the ceiling of the front room that we had not planned for but progress is being made. I am learning a new dance in the controlled chaos. If I could just change direction to one slow step back and two quick steps forward, oh well. Good thing I love to dance.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Kitchen Lighting

I am patiently waiting for the bathroom lighting to arrive and knew that my work was not done in the lighting area. I had several ideas running through my mind on this, as well. I know there will be canned lights above the work spaces in the kitchen so the only thing I need to find is one pretty pendant light for over the kitchen sink, in front of the window. It has to be a mini-pendant for the space as the ceiling height on that side of the kitchen is a little lower-by about 2 to 3 inches.

Style Selections�5.6-in W Polished Chrome Mini Pendant Light with White Shade
Found this beauty at Lowes.
The Mr. nixed this one real quick. He did not like it at all. I was trying to get a little bit of contemporary into what will be a very traditional kitchen. Keep looking....

Next I found this on Wayfair. I liked it a lot but once again the Mr. squashed the thought saying it was too industrial looking. That is what I liked about it!
Found it at Wayfair - Brooksdale 1 Light Mini PendantThen there was this one from Wayfair.....
and this one....

but the super girly girl in me started to rise up and thoughts of a chandelier entered my brain once again. I had pushed her aside when I chose the bathroom lighting, opting for something more practical and sensible. I feared that she would be a hard one to conquer this time around. Do I have it in me to fight this war again or should I just give in her demands? What could it hurt to look?  Be cautious, I thought, let us try to be restrained in our choices. After all, husband will flat out veto anything that looks like it belongs in Liberace' s dressing room.
Found it at Wayfair - Reese 1 Light Pendent
kitchenkitchen lighting
Warehouse of Tiffany 1-Light Crystal Chandelier
Oops, I have left the track! I ventured too far into the girly woods and need to be reigned in!
Okay, I want something that looks kinda sleek and kinda chic and kinda glitzy and very pretty;  searching and searching and looking for the best prices. I found a fixture I loved but could not justify the price. The tracking guru out there noticed what I had taken a liking to and through Facebook or Pinterest, I can't remember which, I was notified that there was a price drop on the item I was looking at!  I showed the Mr. first and after all that he said, "Order what you like". Really!!!! Couldn't that have been said a week before!? Well, apparently I needed the lesson and without further hesitation I ordered it. I am very happy with the choice! I can't wait to see it in the kitchen. I hope you like it, too!

Maxim Lighting Rapture, Amazon

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On the Light-er Side

This is really part two of my last post, Retail Therapy. I never really got to the shopping part that I was doing that day as I got side tracked showing you the cabinets. I meant to show you the lighting that I was contemplating for the kitchen and bathroom. I can get distracted easily. It doesn't matter what it is really but usually shiny things, chippy things, shabby things, things that just need a little TLC, pretty things...... well, you get the idea. Where was I? Oh, yeah...

So, this is my little drawing of the back wall of the bathroom, to scale based on my measurements and limited artistic abilities:
It looks better in person. The glare from the wall and off the
grid paper is not playing in my favor.
There will be a pot light over the washer and dryer. They are represented by the rectangle to the left.

I thought I wanted a sconce on either side like Miss Mustard Seed's but my mirror is wider than hers. (Our dresser came with a mirror but instead of leaving it on the dresser we will mount it to the wall on blocks that will allow it so swivel a bit depending on the height of the one standing in front of it.) The wall space will not allow sconces like hers as the right side of the sink will sit just two inches or so from the adjoining wall. I tried to draw a set of sconces above but that looked funky. Then I thought a chandelier hanging over the sink would be nice; not a big, opulent one but one with a little sparkle and a little dangliness. (Spell check says that isn't a word....I beg to differ.) So we need a light that will not get in the way. These are some of the things I was looking at.

Home Depot, Hampton Bay Inverleigh

Canarm Lainey 4-Light Chrome Crystal Accent Chandelier
Canarm-:Lainey 4 Light Chandelier

Then I found this beauty at and loved that it was a flush mount as the ceilings aren't terribly high but they do not sell this item in any of the stores near us and the only ones I found on line that were similar were not flush mount.

I thought some more and decided to go in yet another direction. Back to a wall mounted item but more centered over the top of the mirror is how it should go....maybe. I found these:

Home Depot, Hampton Bay Watertown Collection
I decided the problem with this one is the cloth shades in a bathroom just don't seem all that practical to me, at least not for our family. I read some reviews on fixtures that had cloth shades and it seems that replacement shades can be tricky to locate so that is a big red flag for me.

Home Depot, Illumine
Next I found this lovely fixture. I think the arch mimics the arch in the mirror and that it would work quite nicely. But, maybe it is too much light for the space.... so I kept looking. After several days of searching I found this fixture that is similar but has only two lights.... PERFECT!
Palms 2 Light Vanity by Canarm on Amazon
My bathroom lighting is ordered and on it's way here! I should have it here for next week when the electrician comes! I plan to mount it upside down so that I get the curve faced in the direction I want.

Now for kitchen lighting.......